BLUE ECONOMY: CANADA TO SPEND $20M FOR CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE IN SMALL ISLAND DEVELOPING STATES – MINISTER

Piriye Kiyaramo

As part of its commitment to working with the global community to support resilient coasts and coastal communities towards harnessing the full potentials of oceans, seas, lakes and rivers, particularly in Small Island Developing States, Canada has planned to spend $20 million for capacity development and technical assistance in Small Island Developing States.

This includes areas of public financial management, financial sector supervisory capacity, and fostering inclusive growth, in addition to investing $10 million in the Pacific Initiative for Biodiversity, Climate Change and Resilience.

In statement from Jocelyn Lubczuk, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, made available to The Blue Economy magazine in Abuja, Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, who led a high-powered Canadian delegation of business representatives, scientists, entrepreneurs, national organizations, and representatives from Indigenous groups, to participate in just concluded first global sustainable blue economy conference in Nairobi Kenya was quoted as saying, “Canada brought its values of inclusion, sustainability and economic security to the discussions” at the conference.

The Hon. Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, used Canada’s role as co-host of the conference with its recognized reputation for ocean leadership to encourage bold global action at the Nairobi conference.

Honourable Wilkinson reiterated that Canada was “committed to taking action to strengthen science and research to advance the sustainable blue economy; promote collaboration for sustainable partnerships and projects; and promoting actions that put people and resources at the centre of sustainable development”.

The Minister announced Canadian immediate action in support of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which included: “Up to $9.5 million to advance activities of the Decade of Ocean Science; up to $1 million to the World Economic Forum’s Friends of Ocean Action and for the Government of Canada’s support to the United Nations Special Envoy for the Ocean”.

Funding for this joint initiative with the European Union, France, New Zealand and Australia is meant to support efforts in the Pacific region to adapt to climate change, protect biodiversity, and improve ocean and fisheries health.

“Canada stands ready to work in partnership with the global community to take action in tackling the challenges ahead. The commitments made at the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference will serve as a catalyst to invigorate global efforts to make significant, sustained progress in seizing the opportunities offered by our water resources. By working together, we can and will take decisive action to create a truly sustainable blue economy”, The Honourable Wilkinson, maintained.

The Blue Economy aims to harness the potential of our oceans, seas, lakes and rivers. It offers great promise for all, especially with respect to food security, jobs and economic prosperity. However, to ensure the long-term benefits of the blue economy, we need healthy and sustainable water resources.

Canada, along with co-hosts Kenya and Japan, drawing 18,810 participants from over 184 countries from around the world, successfully concluded the first ever global conference on sustainable blue economy in last week of November in Nairobi, Kenya.

The conference served as an important building block, galvanizing global efforts towards a transition to a truly sustainable blue economy.

In Canada, the oceans alone are a source of approximately 350,000 jobs and generate approximately $36 billion annually in GDP through fisheries and aquaculture, energy, shipping, tourism and recreation.

It is estimated that half of the world’s population lives within 60 kilometres of the sea and three quarters of all large cities are located along the coast. (Source: United Nations Environment Programme)

Blue economy industries account for the livelihoods of 660 to 820 million people worldwide, with women accounting for about 15 percent of those engaged in fisheries. (Source: The Food and Agriculture Organization